Rent vs. Buy Calculator New York City

Deciding to Buy vs. Rent a home in New York City is personal and financially significant. The American Dream includes homeownership; however, it is not the right choice for everyone. Our Buy vs. Rent calculator helps you determine the monthly costs of both and your future best choice. Please note that capital appreciation usually kicks in when owning a home for 5-7 years and makes buying an NYC apartment almost always less expensive than renting.





Your mortgage payments over years will add up to .

Your rent payments over years will add up to .

Based on your inputs,


Buying vs. Renting

By owning your home, you have the potential for capital appreciation and tax deduction, and property taxes. You can get some money back or even make money off your apartment by owning your home in simpler terms.

But buying an apartment requires a down payment, closing costs, monthly mortgage payments, property taxes (which tend to rise every year), possible renovation costs, and home insurance.

Renters typically pay less per month, and the savings can be; invested. To sign a lease, the renter must pay; the first month’s rent and security deposit and usually are required to have renters insurance. There is also the potential for, usually annually, which is generally about 3%.

Buy vs. Rent, Do The Math

Our buy vs. rent calculator is excellent and helps determine how long it would take to own your home before making financial sense. This year, the median for New York City was 4.9 years, at 7.4 years in Manhattan, 4.4 years in Brooklyn, and three years in Queens. There are also wide variations from the differing neighborhoods. It is a complicated calculation, with assumptions including investment rates of return and home price appreciation. If you are not mathematically inclined and find all of that too difficult, there is a more straightforward approach.

If you plan on being in the city for only a short period, renting is almost certainly the better option. Mainly due to the flexibility and closing costs. But, if you plan on staying in the same place for several years, it would be wise to do a back-of-the-envelope calculation. Factors to consider are the home price, how long you plan on staying, and the interest rate on your mortgage.


A simple example, with a $1.5 million purchase price, placing a 20% deposit, the mortgage is $1.2 million, and the monthly payment (principal and interest) is about $5,400 and assuming a 3.5% interest rate.

There are maintenance/standard common charges and utilities if this is a co-op or condo. If these come to $2,500, your monthly cost is $7,900.

It likely far outweighs the average rent in the city. However, a portion of your monthly mortgage payment is applied to the principal, and the interest is tax-deductible.

In the early years, the payment will be primarily paying down interest. The payment amount may bring your monthly cost down to $6,000.

With this considered, it is still a higher price to pay than renting; you may choose ownership for the potential price appreciation and the pride that comes from staking your claim.

Of course, if you can invest that $300,000 down payment at a higher enough return, perhaps you’re better off with the renting option for a period. Instead of considering or renting or buying, it turns into an analysis of homeownership vs. opportunity cost.